Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 649–663 | Cite as

The proliferation and tenogenic differentiation potential of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cell are influenced by specific uniaxial cyclic tensile loading conditions

  • Hui Yin Nam
  • Belinda Pingguan-Murphy
  • Azlina Amir Abbas
  • Azhar Mahmood Merican
  • Tunku Kamarul
Original Paper


It has been previously demonstrated that mechanical stimuli are important for multipotent human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs) to maintain good tissue homeostasis and even to enhance tissue repair processes. In tendons, this is achieved by promoting the cellular proliferation and tenogenic expression/differentiation. The present study was conducted to determine the optimal loading conditions needed to achieve the best proliferation rates and tenogenic differentiation potential. The effects of mechanical uniaxial stretching using different rates and strains were performed on hMSCs cultured in vitro. hMSCs were subjected to cyclical uniaxial stretching of 4, 8 or 12 % strain at 0.5 or 1 Hz for 6, 24, 48 or 72 h. Cell proliferation was analyzed using alamarBlue\(^\circledR \) assay, while hMSCs differentiation was analyzed using total collagen assay and specific tenogenic gene expression markers (type I collagen, type III collagen, decorin, tenascin-C, scleraxis and tenomodulin). Our results demonstrate that the highest cell proliferation is observed when 4 % strain \(+\) 1 Hz was applied. However, at 8 % strain \(+\) 1 Hz loading, collagen production and the tenogenic gene expression were highest. Increasing strain or rates thereafter did not demonstrate any significant increase in both cell proliferation and tenogenic differentiation. In conclusion, our results suggest that 4 % \(+\) 1 Hz cyclic uniaxial loading increases cell proliferation, but higher strains are required for superior tenogenic expressions. This study suggests that selected loading regimes will stimulate tenogenesis of hMSCs.


Mechanical stimulation Proliferation Differentiation Tissue engineering Mesenchymal stromal cells Mechanotransduction 



This work was supported by HIR-MoE Grant (Reference No. UM.C/625/1/HIR/ MOHE/MED/04, Account No. E000003-20001) and University of Malaya postgraduate student Grant (PS260/2010B). We also thank the University of Malaya for a Ph.D. thesis scholarship for the first author.

Supplementary material

10237_2014_628_MOESM1_ESM.docx (23 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (docx 23 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hui Yin Nam
    • 1
  • Belinda Pingguan-Murphy
    • 2
  • Azlina Amir Abbas
    • 1
  • Azhar Mahmood Merican
    • 1
  • Tunku Kamarul
    • 1
  1. 1.Tissue Engineering Group, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery (NOCERAL), Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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